In Spanish photographer Jon Uriarte’s series The Men Under the Influence, he photographs men wearing the clothes of their girlfriends or wives. The images are composed in the space shared by the couple. Uriarte displays ideas of gender through clothing, as the men wear outfits that would be considered feminine, including dresses and strappy sandals. In a short statement about the series, he writes:
This work addresses the recent change in roles in heterosexual relationships from the relations of our predecessors and how those changes have affected men in particular. The photos attempt to capture men’s sense of loss of reference, now that women have taken a step forward and have finally come into their own as equal partners.
While I don’t agree entirely with some of the sentiments in this statement, I do appreciate the gender-bending nature of it. The socially-constructed roles of men and women tie our identities to an arbitrary notion that we each have to be a certain way just because of our gender. Clothing is a way we can outwardly express ourselves and our choices. I like seeing these men, looking unaffected by their attire (and even comfortable), sitting in the the place where they share their homes and their lives. (via feature shoot)
In his giant installation art / performance Para-Production, artist Ni Haifeng reverses the common global process of production. A massive movement of commodities takes place each day often beginning in the country of Ni Haifeng’s birth – China. Many companies defer production of their goods to the country which are then often exported for consumption in the Western world. In Para-Production, however, a large room is filled with loose garments and sewing machines. Gallery visitors are then invited to work, to sew these items together. In a way, the installation becomes a performance of labor – people that are often the consumer of Chinese-made products instead produce a product for a Chinese artist. [via]
The installations of Finnish artist Kaarina Kaikkonen are surreally familiar. Her work seems to take the familiar domestic scene of clothes drying on the line to its wonderfully illogical end. It’s easy to get lost day dreaming about the many people that once filled the second-hand clothing. For Kaikkonen, this exercise and her work are intensely personal – her father died in front of her when she was young and the installation became a way of processing her emotions. Indeed, the clothing acts as a kind of physical manifestation of memories for Kaikkonen – sort of the only vestige of a body that otherwise only exists in the mind.
The ‘carcasses’ of Tamara Kostianovsky are made entirely of her own clothing. She ‘cannabalizes’ her clothes to create life size racks of meat, fat, and bone. Using unwanted clothing, Kostianovsky emphasizes the human body and its constant physical demands. The work becomes a kind of parable for the nearly violent cycle of consumption. She says of the series:
“My intention is to confront the viewers with the real and grotesque nature of violence, offering a context for reflecting about the vulnerability of our physical existences, brutality, poverty, consumption, and the voracious needs of the body.”
Swiss/Danish art duo known simply as PUTPUT blurs the lines between photography, design, and conceptual art wonderfully. For their series of photographs titled Undress, PUTPUT isolates a daily dance. On the series, the duo comments:
“ The ‘Undress’ series highlights an everyday choreography undertaken by the majority of people on a daily basis. The garment becomes central and embodies the movement.”
The photographs transform a mundane task into a beautiful flash of time. Undress further presents an especially intimate and unguarded moment with the attention of an abstract artist.
Cao Hui‘s ultra realistic sculptures manage to be intriguing while stomach turning. Cao sculpts every day objects such as furniture or clothing as if from butchered flesh and innards. His strict attention to detail can be seen from the entrails spilling out of a slashed cushion to a couple swollen armrest stitches. Though constructed from resin, his artwork appears to bulge, droop, and tear much like actual flesh. Cao juxtaposes inside and outside, essence and appearance in a very literal (albeit gory) manner. While disturbing, Cao effectively executes his work with a certain dark humor. [via]
Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota, who is based in Berlin, creates sculptural installations. Often surrounding miscellaneous items like clothing or furniture in tangled nets of twine, she places strict limits upon perception within her work. The stringy elements of her installations almost exist as clouds obstructing the objects that make up each piece. In this way, a work is viewed simultaneously as a singular object and as a product of its environment. Here, airy materials compound into an extremely weighted whole, repositioning our impressions of worldly material. (via)
UK based artist Stuart Whitton uses traditional media to create his detailed and “life-like-textures” art works. Whitton’s work pops out of the pages and almost comes to life. He describes his work as a direct representation of his personality and inspiration, which can be identified in the smallest of details.